NYC moves to phase one, call for contact tracers and more

What's going in the Upper Delaware June 4 to June 10

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Lawsuit filed over Sullivan jail

MONTICELLO, NY — The New York Civil Liberties (NYCLU) Union on May 29 filed a lawsuit to get four inmates released who, according to the lawsuit, are “medically vulnerable people incarcerated at the Sullivan County Jail who face a significant risk of severe illness or death from the coronavirus.” Undersheriff Eric Chaboty denied that is the case, and he said all of the inmates that had previously tested positive are now out of quarantine and there are now no inmates showing symptoms.

Calling more contact tracers

LIBERTY, NY — Sullivan County Public Health Director Nancy McGraw says the county has a sufficient number of contact tracers, but she is still encouraging others to join the program and take the training. In addition to tracers, the county is also looking for team supervisors and community support specialists to address mental health and human services needs. An application can be found at www.bit.ly/howyoucanhelpcoronavirus.

PA Democrats accuse Republicans of withholding positive test

HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania House Democrats are accusing house Republicans of withholding information from them about a positive COVID-19 case of a Republican House member. State Representative Andrew Lewis confirmed on May 26 that he tested positive for the virus on May 20, and immediately began self-quarantining. Democratic leader Frank Dermody called it outrageous that some Republican house members knew about the positive test, but no Democrats learned of it for a week. Other Republicans in contact with Lewis also self-quarantined.

Zane Grey museum to remain closed

LACKAWAXEN, PA — Following guidance regarding COVID-19, Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River’s Zane Grey Museum will remain closed until further notice. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with federal, state and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and will use a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis. NPS says, “The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers and partners continues to be paramount.”

New York City moves to Phase One

NEW YORK CITY, NY — New York City is set to move to Phase One of reopening on Monday, June 8. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this will mark a new normal. “Wear a mask, get tested and [practice social distancing]. It is that simple, but that hard. Those simple devices—wearing a mask, hand sanitizer—they make all the difference. You talk to all the experts—what advice, what should we do? Wear a mask. How can it be that simple? Because sometimes it’s that simple.” The overall infection rate in the city is about 19 percent.

Ambulance shot with pellet gun

HAWLEY, PA — An ambulance was shot by pellets from a gun as it was rushing a patient to a hospital along Route 6 in Hawley. Tafton fire chief Mike Miller was behind the wheel when the incident happened on May 25 with the lights and siren going. About a year ago, several cars were hit with BB’s at the same location. Teens were found to be responsible for that incident. Miller said it’s a dangerous situation and it has to stop.

Fritz lauds reopening bill

HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania Rep. Jonathan Fritz voted with majority Republicans on May 27 in favor of legislation that he said would limit Gov. Tom Wolf’s power during an emergency. In a statement, Fritz said “Under House Resolution 836, which must also be approved by the Senate, the governor could no longer regulate so-called non-life-sustaining businesses differently than those business operations deemed life-sustaining under his March 19 business closure order. In other words, he can no longer pick winners and losers.”

Bill limiting Cuomo’s emergency powers killed 

ALBNANY, NY — Legislation that would have limited the amount of power Gov. Andrew Cuomo has during emergency declarations was defeated in the early morning hours on May 29 on the Assembly floor. Assemblyman Brian Manktelows said, “This would have restored the checks and balances in the legislative process in regard to emergency declarations, which exceed 45 days, in addition to ensuring that any actions, which would affect fundamental constitutional rights, received the proper judicial due process.”

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